Pret-a-Reporter

Beauty Guru Poppy King's 5 Favorite Red Lipstick Moments in History

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Gwen Stefani

The founder of Lipstick Queen reveals her personal picks for the top crimson-lipped ladies, from the '40s to modern day.

Like the rest of the beauty industry, lipstick formulas are constantly evolving and becoming more advanced—a trend Poppy King, founder of Lipstick Queen (worn by Kate Bosworth and Rita Ora), is at the forefront of. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look to the past for some of the most iconic moments involving the all-important makeup staple, even if it means the formulas were probably super dehydrating and didn’t last.

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While King was in Los Angeles for a recent appearance at Barneys, Pret-a-Reporter took the opportunity to chat with her about new lip colors (one of her latest shades is a green "filter" that brings out the pink in a pout, called Frog Prince, $25), whether blondes or brunettes are more adventurous with their lipstick (blondes are, she says!), and what five women in history wore the best red lips.

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King's one modern-day pick for her top five is Gwen Stefani, who is so synonymous with a crimson lip that it’s shocking when she wears any other color. The lipstick lover cites her own Red Sinner ($22) shade as her personal go-to, while she also likes NARS’ reds and says the Lipstick Queen crimson that everyone can wear is Medieval ($22).

The platinum-blonde trend continues with Marilyn Monroe, a no-brainer. "Any Marilyn moment, but [mostly] in the classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, when she’s in the pink dress with the red lipstick," says King.

Additionally, King is smitten with the girls in Robert Palmer’s "Addicted to Love" music video in 1985. "That had such an influence on me," says King. "If you look now you really they have so much makeup on. It looks amazing, but it’s just untenable."

And then there are more blondes: Eva Peron, aka the First Lady of Argentina and subject of the movie Evita, for one. "It was her red lipstick and her blonde hair," says King. Lastly, she calls out the actress who coincidentally starred in that movie: Madonna circa Desperately Seeking Susan. Says King, "There is something about the iconography of the blonde with the red lips. Red lips on brunettes is very exotic and sensual, but on blondes red lips are very iconic."

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